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(2nd LD) 106 countries, territories restricting entry from virus-hit S. Korea

All News 17:19 March 09, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 9-10)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- Two more countries have joined the list of countries and territories imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures on people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns, putting the tally at 106, foreign ministry data showed Monday.

As of 2 p.m., Grenada and Barbados, island nations in the Caribbean, were added to the list of 47 countries and territories requiring or recommending self-quarantine and imposing stricter immigration controls for people who have been in Korea at least in the past two weeks, according to the ministry website.

Thirty-eight countries and territories barred the entry of travelers from all of Korea, including Oman, which was moved to the list late Sunday as it toughened the restriction from a 14-day home quarantine.

Japan has expanded its entry ban to seven other regions in Korea that are located near Daegu city and Cheongdo County -- the two epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreaks here -- along with a temporary suspension of no-visa entry programs and other toughened quarantine procedures.

Five other countries were implementing similar partial entry bans for Korea and other virus-affected countries.

A total of 15 countries and territories, including 19 Chinese provinces, are currently quarantining people from South Korea or other virus-affected countries at designated facilities.

Sri Lanka was added to this list late Sunday as it was set to quarantine foreigners flying in from Korea, Iran and Italy starting Monday at noon. The Chinese province of Henan has also joined the list.

As of early Monday, 1,634 South Koreans were being quarantined around the world, a foreign ministry official told reporters. Of them, 1,149 people were in China and 451 others were in Vietnam.

In a briefing for foreign reporters, Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho renewed Seoul's calls for countries to reconsider restrictive measures against visitors from Korea.

Lee said that the high number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea is rather a testament to the Korean government's "thorough and rapid" diagnostic screenings, and that Seoul has strictly controlled any possible outflow of the virus through such measures as conducting fever checks on all outbound passengers and barring anyone who has been in close contact with confirmed patients from going abroad.

On Sunday, South Korea added 248 new infections cases, bringing the total tally to 7,382, with 51 deaths.

(2nd LD) 106 countries, territories restricting entry from virus-hit S. Korea - 1

elly@yna.co.kr
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